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Transforming The "Market-Model University": Environmental Philosophy, Citizenship And The Recovery of the Humanities

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This paper addresses the problem of the declining status of philosophy and the humanities in higher education. These events have given rise to discussions of the "corporatization" of higher education and the dominance of the "Market-Model University." In the Market-Model University the chief goals are to teach marketable skills and develop marketable innovations. In responding to these developments, my thesis is that practical philosophy, exemplified by environmental philosophy, off ers direction for positive reforms that will revitalize philosophy and the humanities. (While my comments focus on philosophy, I believe much of what is said can apply to other fields in the humanities.) More specifically, they point to a "Citizen-Model University" as a positive alternative to the Market-Model. In the Citizen-Model University the chief goal is education for "citizenship". This focus in education will allow democratic societies to better meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. Such challenges are increasingly characterized by difficult decisions involving environmental problems (e.g., global warming) and technological developments (e.g., biotechnology). These kinds of problems cannot be left to the "invisible hand" of the market. They require democratic citizens capable of moral deliberation, leading to intelligent choices.


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